DMD is the most common muscular dystrophy (1 male born in 3.500) and one of the most common human genetic diseases. In DMD patients, the gene coding for the protein dystrophin is mutated (the largest gene of the human genome, located on the X chromosome), resulting in muscle fiber weakness, progressively leading to their degeneration and muscle wasting. The pathology is very severe, as it affects all muscles of the organism and life expectancy of a patient is currently between 20 and 30 years.
There is no cure for DMD (as well for other dystrophies in general) and current treatments are limited to palliative care, mainly consisting in supportive care to control the onset of symptoms, slow down disease progression and prevent the cardiac, respiratory and orthopedic complications caused by the disease. The development of curative treatments targeting the underlying cause of the disease is a real therapeutic challenge.
Muscular Dystrophies: Becker Muscular Dystrophy / Congenital Muscular Dystrophy / Distal Muscular Dystrophy / Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy / Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy / Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy / Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy
Myotonic disorders: Myotonic Dystrophy / Myotonia Congenita / Paramyotonia Congenita
Spinal Muscular Atrophies: SMA Type 1/2/3/Adult
Metabolic Diseases of the Muscle: Acid Maltase Deficiency / Carnitine Deficiency / Carnitine Palmityl Transferase Deficiency / Debrancher Enzyme Deficiency / Lactate Dehydrogenase Deficiency / Mitochondrial Myopathy / Myoadenylate Deaminase Deficiency / Phosporylase Deficiency / Phosphofructokinase Deficiency / Phosphoglycerate Kinase Deficiency
Other Myopathies: Bethlem Myopathy / Central Core Diseases / Congenital Fibre Type Disproportion / Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva / Hyper, Hypo Thyroid Myopathy / Minicore, Multicore Myopathy / Myotubular Myopathy / Nemaline Myopathy / Periodic Paralysis, Hypokalemic, Hyperkalemic
Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging (50% loss between 20 and 80 years). Due to lessened physical activity and increased longevity of industrialized populations, sarcopenia is emerging as a major health concern. The global population affected is estimated to be over 50 million cases today and to reach more than 200 million in the next 40 years (Source: Neurotune).
Cachexia is characterized by unintended weight loss, muscle weakness and fatigue. It is not a disease by itself but rather a symptom for other affections such as cancer or aids. Cachexia is associated with increased morbidity and mortality independent of the underlying condition. Cachexia is responsible for the deaths of 20 to 40% of cancer patients (source US National Cancer Institute). The disease affects about 9 million people in North America, Europe and Japan only.
Currently, there are no widely accepted drugs to treat sarcopenia or cachexia.